Thai National Parks

Marine spacies of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Pennant coralfish

Binomial name: Heniochus acuminatus, Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

The pennant coralfish (Heniochus acuminatus), also known as the longfin bannerfish or coachman, is a tropical fish of the family Chaetodontidae. It is also known colloquially as the "poor man's Moorish idol".


The fish is mostly black and white, with an elongated dorsal fin, making the fish reach around 25 cm. The fish's caudal, anal, and pectoral fins are most commonly bright yellow. It is very similar in appearance to the closely related Heniochus diphreutes, but has a longer and more circular shape.


They are social fish, and are found in pairs or in shoals. They are a very passive fish, and rarely territorial. Some individuals even act as cleaners, especially when young, by removing parasites from other fish.


The pennant coralfish eats mostly plankton in the wild, but are omnivorous in an aquarium setting.


The pennant coralfish's natural distribution is in the Indian and Pacific Oceans in reef settings, from southern Japan to Micronesia and Lord Howe Island, and in the Seychelles. Currently it is registered as introduced species in the Black Sea. The pennant coralfish is commonly found at depths of 2 - 75m.

Economic value

The fish is uncommonly harvested for anything other than the marine aquarium industry. It is commonly sold as an alternative to the Moorish idol, which is considered to be nearly impossible for most hobbyists to keep. It is fairly easy to care for when maintained in a properly sized aquarium with peaceful tankmates.

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Scientific classification

Heniochus acuminatus

Common names

  • English:
    • Bannerfish
    • Coachman
    • Featherfin coralfish
    • Longfin bannerfish
    • Pennant bannerfish
    • Pennant coralfish
    • Reef bannerfish
    • Wimple fish
  • French:
    • Cocher solitaire
    • Garnaison
    • Hénioche commun
    • Pavillon


  • Chaetodon mycteryzans, Laurence Theodore Gronow (1854)
  • Chaetodon bifasciatus, George Shaw (1803)
  • Chaetodon acuminatus, Carolus Linnaeus (1758)
  • Chaetodon macrolepidotus, Carolus Linnaeus (1758)
  • Heniochus macrolepidotus, Carolus Linnaeus (1758)
  • Taurichthys macrolepidotus, Carolus Linnaeus (1758)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Pennant coralfish

Pennant coralfish

Public domain

Range map of Heniochus acuminatus in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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